Focus on sustainability reflected in decision to exit new-build coal market
Engineering, construction and consulting leader Black & Veatch today announced the availability of its inaugural sustainability report. The report details the company’s efforts across seven environmental, social and governance commitment areas aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Progress towards each commitment is detailed across 2020, a year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions across communities in the United States and growing urgency to decarbonize our planet’s economies highlighted in the Company’s decision to exit the new-build coal power market.
Embracing the concept of Accelerate Zero, Black & Veatch’s sustainable management strategy reflects the priorities of the company’s employee-owners to address a range of business practices, including carbon emissions, water use, diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-corruption, and safety. As part of its commitments, Black & Veatch also began piloting new Sustainable-by-Design procedures to implement through every stage of clients’ projects, systematically reducing the negative impacts and increasing the positive impacts across the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the infrastructure lifecycle.
“Our greatest opportunity to create a more sustainable world is through the infrastructure we deliver for our clients,” said Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch’s CEO. “However, it is not enough to simply look externally. In examining the technology and infrastructure solutions we offer we must also examine our company and our operations. In doing so, we see a holistic approach to sustainability that can deliver greater benefits for our clients, professionals and the communities where we live and work.”
With sustainability embedded into the company’s Mission statement, 2023 Strategy and client solutions, Black & Veatch’s Accelerate Zero program achieved much progress and many highlights including:
- Reducing recordable incident rates by more than 30 percent at construction sites compared to 2019, and established the NEXT Coalition, a group of leading engineering and construction peer-companies to create safer, healthier and more sustainable approaches to construction.
- Achieving a perfect score of 100 for the second consecutive year on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
- Taking a public stand on racism, rebooting its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and launching a successful “Conversations of Understanding” series attended by more than half of all BV professionals.
- Stopping participation in coal-fueled power design and construction while focusing further on solutions to help transform the energy industry, including helping clients reduce dependence on coal power assets and minimize the impact of those assets to the environment.
- Starting work on what is set to be the first hydrogen-capable combined cycle power plants in the United States.
- Launching a dedicated environmental business unit to help companies navigate increasingly complex environmental regulation and their own sustainability commitments.
- Incubating and guiding five new-to-market technologies to commercial sites through BV’s Ignitex COVID-19 Accelerator, a collaboration with startups and other innovators to expedite solutions to soften COVID-19’s impact on communities.
- Refreshing the governance structure of BV Foundation, including publications of its first annual report, and donating $1.55 million through 150 grants.
The Black & Veatch 2020 Sustainability Report can be found here.
- Read about Black & Veatch’s Sustainability Strategy here.
- Follow the links to learn about BV solutions across sustainability, decarbonization, COVID-19 and hydrogen.
- Black & Veatch signed three United Nations pledges in 2020 – the Global Compact, the CEO Water Mandate and the Caring for Climate. The company also conducted its first materiality assessment in 2020.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2020 exceeded US$3.0 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
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